TylerJohnson

 

What Tyler Johnson's contract extension means for his cap league value.

 

One of the most pleasant surprises this season was the emergence of Calder candidate Tyler Johnson. The 23-year-old centerman potted 24 goals and 50 points while taking advantage of opportunities created by some major injuries, most notably to superstar Steven Stamkos. In cap leagues he carried additional value due to his $900,000 cap hit that made him one of the best bargains in the entire league.

 

Unfortunately for poolies, Johnson has now completed the final year of his entry-level contract and has already signed a new three-year contract with Tampa Bay. The new cap hit of $3,333,333 is a significant raise which has severe implications on his fantasy-league value.


Opportunity

 

Believe it or not, there are positives to be taken from this contract despite the huge raise. At just 5'9 Johnson fell into the category of undersized player that had to battle for every opportunity on his way to the NHL. Even with early success in the NHL, he could have fallen out of the mix for a number of reasons. But with a larger cap hit comes job security. He will not be buried down the depth chart when things do not go his way for a few games which will help maximize his production in all formats.


Points-only leagues

 

To put into perspective Johnson's value in points-only leagues this past season, here were the top 10 forwards in dollars per point courtesy of Capgeek:

 

Name

Pos

Team

GP

G

A

P

ATOI

CAP HIT

VALUE

Palat, Ondrej »

F

TBL

81

23

36

59

18.03

$579,167

$9,816

Bonino, Nick »

F

ANA

77

22

27

49

16.23

$700,000

$14,286

Shaw, Andrew »

F

CHI

80

20

19

39

15.69

$577,500

$14,808

Smith, Reilly »

F

BOS

82

20

31

51

14.71

$900,000

$17,647

Gerbe, Nathan »

F

CAR

81

16

15

31

16.4

$550,000

$17,742

Garbutt, Ryan »

F

DAL

75

17

15

32

13.06

$575,000

$17,969

Johnson, Tyler »

F

TBL

82

24

26

50

18.78

$900,000

$18,000

Eakin, Cody »

F

DAL

81

16

19

35

17.33

$637,778

$18,222

Saad, Brandon »

F

CHI

78

19

28

47

16.29

$894,167

$19,025

Zuccarello, Mats »

F

NYR

77

19

40

59

17.14

$1,150,000

$19,492

 

If you increase his cap hit to his new cost of over $3.3 million, his value becomes $66,000 which severely affects his ranking. His value moving forward is not bad by any means provided that he is able to maintain his current scoring clip. It just takes him out of cap bargain territory unless he is able to become an elite offensive player, which is unlikely to happen.

 

To take a closer look at Johnson's new value, let's take a look at the 2013-14 production of some cap hit comparables, once again courtesy of Capgeek:

 

Name

Age

Team

Cap Hit

Cap Pct 

Delta 

Points

Johnson, Tyler »

23

TBL

$3,333,333

4.69%

$0

50

Bourque, Rene »

32

MTL

$3,333,333

5.61%

$0

16

Bailey, Josh »

24

NYI

$3,300,000

5.13%

$33,333

38

Anisimov, Artem »

26

CLB

$3,283,333

5.11%

$50,000

39

Peverley, Rich »

31

DAL

$3,250,000

4.63%

$83,333

30

Stoll, Jarret »

31

LAK

$3,250,000

4.63%

$83,333

27

Gaustad, Paul »

32

NAS

$3,250,000

4.63%

$83,333

21

MacArthur, Clarke »

29

OTT

$3,250,000

5.05%

$83,333

55

Desharnais, David »

27

MTL

$3,500,000

5.44%

$166,667

52

Tanguay, Alex »

34

COL

$3,500,000

5.44%

$166,667

11

Cullen, Matt »

37

NAS

$3,500,000

5.44%

$166,667

39

Upshall, Scottie »

30

FLA

$3,500,000

5.44%

$166,667

37

Ryder, Michael »

34

NJD

$3,500,000

5.44%

$166,667

34

Turris, Kyle »

24

OTT

$3,500,000

5.44%

$166,667

58

Stajan, Matt »

30

CGY

$3,125,000

4.40%

$208,333

33

Hanzal, Martin »

27

PHX

$3,100,000

4.42%

$233,333

40

Zubrus, Dainius »

35

NJD

$3,100,000

4.82%

$233,333

26

Foligno, Nick »

26

CLB

$3,083,333

4.39%

$250,000

39

Stepan, Derek »

23

NYR

$3,075,000

4.78%

$258,333

57

Read, Matt »

27

PHI

$3,625,000

5.10%

$291,667

40

Williams, Justin »

32

LAK

$3,650,000

5.68%

$316,667

43

 

Among the 20 players listed here, Johnson ranked fifth, only eight points behind group leader Kyle Turris. But among this group you will also find many offensive duds putting Johnson in good company.


Multi-category leagues

 

Depending on the league, Johnson's value could range from being closer to his points-only value to being close to star status. Here were some of his areas of strength during his rookie season:

 

Category

G

PTS

+/-

SHP

SOG

FOW

Amount

24

50

23

6

181

614

Leauge Rank

51

88

24

1

92

35

 

Johnson's biggest strengths are SHP and FOW which can make him extremely valuable if your league counts those categories. But overall his value will depend on the format. Consider the following three example league setups along with his league rank according to Fantasy Hockey Geek:

 

League Name

Scoring Categories

League Rank

Yahoo Standard

G, A, +/-, PIM, GWG, PPP

100

Dobberhockey Experts

G, A, +/-, SOG, PPP, HIT

115

UHL Dynasty League

G, A, +/-, PIM, SOG, GWG, PPP, SHP, HIT, BLK, FOW

37


Final thoughts

 

While Johnson's new contract does remove the outstanding bang for the buck that he once provided, it is a well-deserved raise that simply represents the cost of doing business. The player has shown an ability to do very well in many different situations and gets paid as such.

 

From a fantasy perspective, this should not push you away from owning him. Depending on the format, his cap value ranges from fair to borderline stardom. Sure, there are always other bargain players out there, especially those with ongoing entry-level deals. But gambling on such unproven commodities can be dangerous. After all, Johnson himself was not seen as a sure thing at this time last year. Fast-forward to today and Johnson has proven plenty while the politics of his new contract will help keep him in a position to succeed in Tampa Bay.

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